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What can be done in Ghana villages

Wife of The Gods by Kwei Quartey

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Book Review for Amazon Books

Wife of The Gods by Kwei Quartey

Not usually a mystery fan I read this book as a Ghana fan. Now I’m a Quartey mystery fan too.

This refreshing book has nothing to do with Hollywood cop shows designed around forgone conclusions where I suppose special effects things substitute for the famous formula, the play is the thing.

The cover notes that Dr. Kwei Quartey who practices medicine in Southern California finds many parallels between writing mysteries and being a physician. His sensibility to voice’ emotions seems to me to derive as from his own fictional characters as from listening to patients. Both doctor and detective must listen for underlying meanings in what they are each saying.

Apart from this when I read that Efia would always would always think with dread of the place in the forest where she .had found Glady’s dead – my own hair stood on end.

Once I had been looking for old logging skid trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I came upon a sort of back pack. I kicked it thinking- marijuana?.. it seemed a few sticks spilled out..then a skull wrapped in plastic rolled out on the ground. The sticks were human bones!

Fairly quickly the sheriff matched the remains to a car abandoned in a shopping center parking lot and arrested the husband.

Later coming from another direction still working on that logging plan but I suddenly realized – Oh God I’ve come back to this place! Either Efia or her counterpart in real life, Dr. Quartey, and myself once shared similar unsettling experiences.

The hero of the Wife of the Gods is Inspector Detective Darko Dawson, Ewe speaker, and dedicated and intelligent model policeman sent by Accra CID to Ketanu a village near the town of Ho in the Volta Region. I have not been there but a portion of the story takes place in Accra where Dawson’s family live.

A Nigerian friend once described Accra as a beautiful city. At the time thinking of Accra’s moderately big government, business and hotel buildings I hadn’t quite tmade this connection.

They do say that you can not take the village out of the Ghanaian, no matter where he takes him or her self. Later I began to see Accra’s sprawling residential districts – even the poor and gritty ones Dansoman, Kanishi, Nima etc – in a new light. By day these streets are filled with people rushing about shopping and doing business. In the evening however people socialize, stroll, meet and greet friends, flit, 菟romenadewhile children play traffic permitting just as as they might do in a thousand villages in Ghana. As an outsider I have always thought that this street sociability is an attractive feature of African life. African friends have politely complained that they miss this in America. In addition I think that Dr. Quartey has not fully succeed in hiding a bit of home sickness when writing about Accra, Ho and Ketanu. Indeed I think that he succeeds in bringing his readers into the county. This makes the Wife of the Gods a very nice read.

Here’s a dividend: Walter Turner interviews Dr. Kwei Quartey on Africa Today.

Relative to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) phenomena I’d like to see Wife of the Gods circulated as an schools E-Book. Inspector Detective Darko Dawson would be a great model character for study by boys and girls who may be dreaming of becoming police persons. Why not? And there are other finally drawn characters in this book, some admirable, some not, and one _is a murderer_. Several are quite fit subjects for student’s analysis.

There is a push to bring OLPC XO computers to schools every where This book may be better suited for schools in countries with large numbers of peasant farming and fishing villages. Students from Nepal to Peru may more readily relate to goings on in Ghana villages than to New York City people stories. My main point is that I really feel is that students and their teachers should have access to books of this quality.

Thinking of visiting Ghana? No?, OK – read this book book, it will take you there. Then you may really go!

George Pope
San Mateo California


http://www.kweiquartey.com/artey November 23 at 5:09pm Report
George Pope – thank you very much for that wonderful review and also some of your observations. look out for the next Darko adventure CHILDREN OF THE STREET, July 12, 2011

and on twitter: @Kwei_Quartey


Written by george pope

November 24, 2010 at 1:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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